Shares of Jos A Bank Clothiers gained nearly 14% in Nasdaq trading Tuesday (17 April) after the company posted record profits for the fourth quarter and full year that exceeded company estimates by 11 cents.

Shares ended the day at US$38.30, up $4.67, or 13.9%. The surge more than erased the 6.1% decline in Jos A Bank's stock price registered on 12 April when investors showed disappointment with the company's relatively modest 1.4% gain in same-store sales during March.

Jos A Bank's decline coincided with an announcement by Men's Wearhouse that first-quarter earnings would be at the lower end of its estimates.

For the fourth quarter ended 3 February, net income grew 34.3% to $24.9m, or $1.36 a diluted share, from $18.5m, or $1.02, in the year-ago quarter. The EPS result was $0.11 higher than Jos A Bank's previously provided guidance of $1.25 a diluted share.

As previously reported by the firm, net sales for the 14-week quarter were $194.1m, 18.5% above the $163.8m logged during its 13-week predecessor. Same-store sales rose 2.0%, comparing like 14-week periods, while direct marketing revenues were up 23.5%.

Gross margin increased to 62.8% of sales from 62.5% in the 2005 quarter.

Jos A Bank didn't provide fourth-quarter profit results, but the numbers were extrapolated by subtracting the year-to-date figures for the nine months from the full-year data released on Tuesday.

For the full year, net income was up 22.6% to $43.2m, or $2.36 a diluted share, from $35.3m, or $1.95, in the prior year. The Hampstead, Maryland-based men's specialty retailer said on 8 February that its full-year earnings would be "at least" $2.25.

Net sales climbed 17.6% to $546.4m in the more recent 53-week year from $464.6m in the prior year, which included 52 weeks. Same-store sales increased 4.3% over the comparable 53-week year-earlier period. As was the case in the fourth quarter, direct marketing revenues rose 23.5%.

Earlier this week, the company promoted Neal Black to president.

Jos A Bank operates 382 stores in 42 states and Washington, DC. It operates an e-commerce site at
By Arnold J Karr.